In April, our fifteen-year-old daughter, Claire, traveled to France for two weeks on a school exchange program. The trip included a home stay in the southern town of Montpellier with visits to Paris before and after. On departure day, Claire was ready! She had her passport, Euros, and a pickpocket-proof waist pouch. Good walking shoes... Continue Reading →


How To Get Happy

I just finished reading The Year of Living Danishly – Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country (2015, Icon Books) written by Helen Russell after she moves from her native England to the hinterlands of Denmark when her husband accepts a job with LEGO. Denmark is purportedly the happiest country on the planet, and Russell explores the... Continue Reading →

Friday Night Now

The shape of Friday nights has shifted many times for me. Starting when I was about eight and my brother was one, my parents instituted a standing Friday night dinner date.  Each Friday night about 7:00 pm, Janet, and later Pam, arrived at our house, my parents went to dinner at the Black Horse Pub,... Continue Reading →

Au Revoir

Au revoir. Last night I wrote these French words inside a funny card, slipped it into an envelope, taped it to a mini version of Claire’s new favorite, Ritter Sport dark chocolate with marzipan filling, and slipped it into her already stuffed backpack. I hope it will make her laugh when she finds it.  She’ll... Continue Reading →

The Locavore

I just finished shopping at our little local grocery store, and I’m deep in self-analysis. The store is Crop’s Fresh Marketplace, but to me it will always be Croppers, its original and forever name in our local vernacular. We moved to East Brandywine Township twenty years ago. I didn’t pay too much attention to anything... Continue Reading →

Setting Sail

or The Boy About To Leave There’s a quote I love, about ships and harbors. Ships are always safest in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are made for. The time left to Owen as a real kid is now measurable in months instead of years. Eighteen is leering at me. Not only will... Continue Reading →

Friends and Mothers

Do you know the sitcom, Friends?  Probably, but if not, a quick sketch: Six twenty-somethings living, working, loving, and learning to be adults in 1990s New York City. Along with the show’s humor are the salient, poignant bits and bites that make a sitcom applicable to real life. I watched Friends religiously with my college roommates every Thursday... Continue Reading →

Mad Mother Marches Into Movie Theater

Happy New Year, everyone! Enjoy my latest post from the Baby Merlin Company blog.   A few weeks ago, my youngest child, aged thirteen, put together a plan to go to the movies with a friend. It would mark the first time Katie was going to a movie sans adult. She’s a smart and careful... Continue Reading →

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